Winning the 2014 Google science research competition at the GoogleScience Fair 2014 helped these three ladies-Ciara Judge, 16, Émer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17- earn a spot on Time Magazines 25 Most Influential Teens for 2014.
Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow from Kinsale Community School, were named the grand prize winner in the 15 to 16-year-old age category for a project which examined the use of natural bacteria to increase crop output.
They were inspired to try and help improve food production, particularly in third world countries, after learning about a famine in the Horn of Africa in 2011.
Their research showed that if Diazotroph is present, it accelerates the germination process of high-value crops such as barley and oats, potentially boosting output by up to 50 per cent.
Using naturally occurring Rhizobium strains of the Diazotroph bacteria family, they carried out an extensive study of their impact on the germination rate and subsequent growth of the cereal crops wheat, oats and barley.
Detailed statistical analysis of their results indicated that these bacterial strains accelerated crop germination by up to 50 per cent and increased barley yields by 74 per cent.
Such a cereal crop performance improvement could significantly assist combatting the growing global food poverty challenge and benefit the environment by reducing fertilizer use. Click to read more
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